SPH to be free of tobacco

Nov. 21, 2013, the day of the Great American Smoke-out, marks an important date, not only for millions of Americans who give up smoking for the day, but also for community health here at South Peninsula Hospital. From that day forward your community hospital will join the other hospitals in southcentral Alaska as tobacco-free healthcare campuses.

Specifically, this means tobacco-use will no longer be permitted by anyone on hospital-owned or occupied grounds, parking lots or lawns, including in private vehicles.

South Peninsula Hospital is eliminating tobacco use to provide a healthy and safe environment for employees, patients and visitors. We are not saying you must quit smoking, but we are saying you cannot use tobacco while at these facilities.    

The community expressed great support when South Peninsula Hospital became a smoke-free environment three years ago, and we expect the community’s reaction to this next step to be equally favorable. However, tobacco use is addictive, so help is available to those who want it.

 All in-patients will be offered nicotine replacement therapy at no cost during their stay here. All other visitors will be offered information and education, including referral to the Alaska Tobacco Quit Line, if they so choose.  The Quit Line offers free nicotine replacement therapy for two weeks, and unlimited confidential support from trained coaches.  

In addition, free tobacco quit kits will be available Monday, Nov. 18, through Thursday, Nov. 21, at SVT Health Center, South Peninsula Hospital and Homer Medical Center. Watch for community smoking cessation programs to be offered in November and December. 

 We appreciate your support and understanding of this important step that will positively affect the health of our community. For specific details visit www.sphosp.org,

Derotha Ferraro

Director of Public Relations

South Peninsula Hospital